Ram Takes Down Opelka to Reach Quarterfinals at Dallas Challenger

by John on February 2, 2017

Veteran doubles specialist Rajeev Ram spotted NextGen rising star Reilly Opelka 13 years and seven inches of height and still came out on top in a second round matchup at the Dallas Challenger late last night. The 32-year-old Ram edged past Opelka, 19, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (1) to earn a spot in tonight’s quarterfinals against No. 2 seed Taylor Fritz. Ram, seeded No. 7, was a smooth operator all evening, serving and volleying well and blunting the 6-foot-11 Opelka’s power with deft touch and superb placement. Although the score would indicate an extremely tight match, the contest wasn’t as close as it would appear. Ram, who has won 10 ATP Tour doubles titles and 27 on the Challenger circuit, totaled 16 more points (82-66) and was never in trouble in either tiebreaker. The 6-foot-4 American also has two Tour singles titles on his resume, both on the grass at Newport. Opelka was one of three up-and-coming 19-year-old Americans in the draw, Fritz and Frances Tiafoe being the others. Ram struck first in the opening set, breaking in the third game and cruising to a 3-1 lead. Opelka answered with a break of his own in the eighth and then both held twice to force a tiebreaker. With Opelka serving at 4-4, and neither having dropped a point on serve, the towering Michigan native crowded the net only to have Ram lift a superb lob over his head for the mini-break. Two strong serves from Ram and he had the opening set in his pocket. There were no breaks of serve and no break point opportunities afforded in the second set, but the tiebreaker was vastly different from the first set. Ram captured three mini-breaks and held throughout to take it easily. It was over in one hour and 29 minutes. Ram won 91 percent of his first service points and 62 percent of his second, while saving two of three break points. He only lost 14 points on his serve, while hitting six aces. Opelka had 12 aces and saved one of two break points.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: